Freezer Food Storage: Pros and Cons to Storing Foods Long Term in a Freezer

Freezer food storage is the quickest and easiest way to store food when you have a reliable power source but without one, prolonged power outages or even short-term outages can ruin your frozen provisions. Freezers are going to require a continuing power source so using multiple methods of food storage besides freezing, is the best approach for preparing for disaster.

Short Term


One to two day electrical outages are a challenge if you do not have back up power sources. If your freezer is not full of food, fill containers with water, leave room for it to expand and freeze the containers. The ice filled containers will help keep the freezer cold longer, increase the efficiency of the freezer and after the water melts you have some extra drinking water. Food will last in a freezer with no power source for two days if the freezer is full and about a day if it is not.

Prepare before the crises and organize your freezer by building a pyramid of your frozen foods to hold in the cold. Pile the meats on the bottom, as you do not want the thawing juices to spoil your other food. If you do not have back up power for your freezer, you can prepare and eat the frozen food rather than letting it spoil during the emergency.

Freezer food storage is an option even in an apocalyptic event if you plan ahead. With back up generators, whether solar, natural gas, propane, gasoline, wind or kerosene powered, your freezer would stay operating while you have an energy supply. Freezers use a lot of energy and it is worth looking for an alternative to AC power sources for storing frozen foods.

Outdoor Storage

You need to be careful when you store food using a natural freezer such as the cold winter climate. Sunlight and fluctuations in temperature in most climate zones affect how cold your food is kept and it may thaw and refreeze your provisions. Ideally, 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius) is the ideal temperature for storing food.

Some survivalists simply fill freezers with non frozen foods and bury the freezers as food stashes for a catastrophic event. Some put a smaller cooler or stash above the larger freezer food storage so if someone comes across the hiding place, they will steal the smaller cooler without digging further to find the main cache of food.

Special Freezer Food Storage Options

You have a choice of specialized freezers, including:

  • Extreme cold freezers reportedly keep frozen food for months longer than ordinary freezers. The temperatures range from -25 to -80 degrees below zero and they are most commonly used for laboratory and medical specimen storage.

  • Solar chest freezers, 4.7 cubic foot or 50-liter capacity appliances, are available that a 70-watt solar panel or wind turbine can power. Larger freezers or combination refrigerator/freezers require 120-watt solar panels or wind turbines.

  • Mobile freezers are another type, which are associated with automotive, or in-vehicle usage. Amazon offers a 50-quart Fridge Freezer that runs on a 12/24 volt DC power outlet but has a power plug for use in a standard AC power outlet.

  • Propane and kerosene operated freezers, such as those found in an RV are available but generally are a costly investment and only specialized retailers sell them. However, you might be able to find one in an old mobile home or travel trailer that is being junked.

Although not as common as canning and freeze-dried storage, freezer food storage is a viable option for a survivalist if it is used in combination with other food storage techniques. As with all prepping, it does take planning and preparation, probably more planning than the other food preservation methods, but the flavorful food from a freezer, might be worth the effort.

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